CMA-IRAWMA March 2018

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7- Martin’s International Executive Producer Ephraim Martin

25/26- Chicago Music Awards(CMA) Nominees & Categories

10- Governor Bruce Rauner

28/29/30/31- Chicago Music Awards(CMA) Performers

11- Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle 13- Mayor Rahm Emmanuel 16- Welcome to the 37th Annual Chicago Music Awards(CMA) 18- CMA Lifetime Achievers: Doris Humphries Robert Kieko 19- CMA Award of Honor: Chance the Rapper, Leanne Trotter, Willie Pickens 21/22- Chicago Music Awards/ International Reggae Music Awards Program 23- Chicago Music Awards Photo Flashback

33- International Reggae Music Awards(IRAWMA) Performers 35- International Reggae Music Awards Photo Flashback 36/37- IRAWMA Nominees & Categories 39- IRAWMA Award of Honor: Babs Savage, Shatta Wale 40- The Reggae 50 Celebration 41- IRAWMA Hall of Fame Inductees: Chakademus & Pliers, Lt. Stitchie 43- The International Reggae & World Music Awards(IRAWMA) Returns to Chicago

Martin’s International Chicago Music Awards Magazine International Reggae & World Music Awards Magazine 1325 S. Wabash, Suite 307 Chicago, IL 60605-2536 312-427-0266(P) 312-427-0268(F) URL: EM:, The Chicago Music Awards magazine and the International Reggae & World Music Awards magazines are published by Martin’s International, 1325 S. Wabash, Suite 307, and Chicago, IL 60605-2536. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Martin’s International, 1325 S. Wabash, Suite 307, Chicago, IL 60605-2536. All rights reserved by Martin’s International(2018). Reproduction in part or whole without written permission from the publisher is prohibited.

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Talent Coordinator/Associate Stage Manager Tremell “Mello” Williams Magazine Art Director Carlos Perez Production Coordinator Massimo “Teena” Pillow Stage Director Camille Jackson Assistant Stage Director Tanya Sheree Guest Service Manager Francine “Cyrius” Estevez Comptroller/Treasurer Stephanie Cummings House Manager Gerri Bates Assistant House Manager Shaveena Brandon Press/Media Coordinator AC McClean Scriptwriter Kandi Conda TV Production Eric Hammond Trophy Coordinator Nancy Toledo Presenters Manager Karen Mahecha Trophy Assistant Raquel La Cour Seating Coordinator Jerome Robinson Reception/FOH Assistant Gilda Clarke

Presenters/Performers Escorts Coordinator Marietta Brown Miller

Promotions Mark Grant Rasta Love Punch

Presenters/Performers Escorts Patricia Gordon Moe Maggie McQueen

MIF Board Members Barbara Kensey Jay B Ross

VIP Reception Host Nay Wright

MIF Videographers

Sponsors Assistant Yvette Kelly Event Advisor Odie Anderson Backstage Services Joel Stanford First Aid/Medical Patricia Gordon Office Admininstrator Tanisha Williams Admissions Fredra Williams Dana Martin

Eric Taylor Wally Lockard John Smith Carlos Perez Andrew Dunn Karl Villanueva Afrah Manderson MIF Event Assistants


Executive Producer/Publisher Ephraim Martin

Melody Boykins Jordan Wallace Kim Jackson Wiz L. Clayton Bruce Lee Vernon Lloyd

Sponsors Liason Drew Barrett Carlton McDowell Wally-Africa USA Today Social Media Sage Jean Baptiste Transportation John “Mega” Taylor Production Assistant Jessie Nolan Security Darpis Security Hospitality Joyce Yase Africa Liason DJ Zigg

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n behalf of my wife, Justice Shelvin Louise Marie Hall, my daughter Dana Martin, our sponsors, advertisers, staff, interns and volunteers of Martin’s International, it gives me prodigious pleasure and pride to welcome you to Music Awards biggest night in Chicago, the 37thAnnual Chicago Music Awards (CMA), in conjunction with the 36th Annual International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA). On this night of dual recognition of excellence in music, we are honoring those who have been nominated by our panel of music industry experts, both for the 37th CMA and the 36th IRAWMA; especially, the ones who will be affirmed the winners by the public at large, who have voted to select the achievers in all the categories. We also salute the Special Lifetime and Award of Honor recipients who have made extraordinary contributions to the music industry. This is the first time since 1983 that both the CMA and the IRAWMA have been combined and been presented on the same night. This is being done tonight as we are making major plans for the return hosting of the 37th IRAWMA in Jamaica on May 11, 2019, so you can mark your calendar and start packing your luggage to make it Jamaica again! Thanks to the current U.S. President’s disrespect to Africa, Haiti, the rest of the Caribbean and Latin America, we have added a unique Award to the CMA. This honor is the “Jean Baptiste Point DuSable Humanitarian Award”, which will be given in memory of the Founding Father of Chicago, the most Honorable Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, a native of Haiti and the first permanent resident of this City, Chicago, Illinois. This first Dusable Humanitarian Award will be bestowed on none other than, Chance The Rapper! Who is cited for his outstanding and unusual contribution to humanity through his deeds and actions in 2017, before and beyond. Let me again remind you, that Chicago was once the “Hub” for the music industry and with your help, before long Chicago can again wear the crown as the “Hub” for entertainment in America!

When we started both the Chicago Music Awards and the IRAWMA in 1982, there were no forms of recognition for Chicagoland entertainers; neither were there any for reggae and world music entertainers at the international level. We then made a commitment to start the two Awards ceremonies; not just to honor entertainers, but as a vehicle of expression for the voiceless peoples of the world and to bring nations together thru music and culture. Through the years, we have gone through the floods, the highs, the lows, the ups and the downs; today Martin’s International is the only organization honoring the wealth that is the seventy-five thousand entertainers in the Chicago Music Industry, and the hundreds of thousands of reggae and world music entertainers worldwide. Let me finally, express our sincere thanks to the participating sponsors, advertisers, donors, media and fans for helping to make the Chicago Music Awards and the IRAWMA successful for thirty-seven consecutive years. I would like to give heartfelt thanks to our dedicated staff, interns and volunteers for working to make tonight’s event possible. Tonight, as we rise above Trumpism, we re-commit to our motto, “Unity is Strength, Forward Together Music Shall Conquer.” We hope that you enjoy this star-studded evening of appreciation, honor and respect to its fullest. Sincerely , Ephraim M. Martin

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March 18, 2018 Martin’s International Foundation Chicago Music Awards Logan Center for the Arts – University of Chicago 915 East 60th Street Chicago, Illinois 60605 Greetings! As Governor of the State of Illinois, I am pleased to welcome everyone gathered for the 37th Annual Chicago Music Awards. Founded in 1982 by Ephraim M. Martin, the Chicago Music Awards is dedicated to honoring the contributions of entertainers in various music genres. This awards ceremony presents an exciting opportunity for everyone in attendance to join together with fellow members of your community to honor Chicago and Illinois best entertainers. I would also like to congratulate this year’s awards recipients. This recognition honors your passion and dedication to music and sharing your talents with the people of Illinois. On behalf of the people of Illinois, I offer my best wishes for an enjoyable and memorable occasion. Sincerely,

Bruce Rauner Governor, State of Illinois


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A Proclamation Of the Board of Commissioners Cook County, Illinois Sponsored by THE HONORABLE TONI PRECKWINKLE, PRESIDENT, COOK COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS WHEREAS, Martin’s International Foundation, in association with its sponsors: NBC 5 Chicago, The Look –Women’s and Men’s Store, LaFruteria Inc, Rogers Park Fruit Market, Old World Market, Kingston Mines Blues Club, Payne Center for Music and Medicine and Wallace Funeral Home, among others, will present their 37th Annual Chicago Music Awards on Sunday March 18, 2018 at the University of Chicago Logan Center for the Arts; and WHEREAS, the Chicago Music Awards was founded in 1982 by Ephraim Martin to honor Chicagoland area entertainers in the various music genres such as: Pop, Reggae, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Gospel, Country Western, Classical, Indie, Latin, Rhythm and Blues and other World Beat Music; and WHEREAS, during this year’s Awards, the special Jean Baptiste Point DuSable Humanitarian Award will be bestowed on Chance The Rapper for his outstanding contributions to humanity through his numerous deeds and actions; and WHEREAS, Lifetime Awards will be given to Chicagoland entertainment legends who have made extraordinary contributions to the music industry, such as Doris Humphries for her more than 80 years of dance contributions to the music industry; and WHEREAS, the 37th Chicago Music Awards ceremony are dedicated to TheReggae50 on fifty years of reggae from 1968, and to Health Awareness to encourage high standards of performance, conduct and professionalism in the music industry; and WHEREAS, the winners of the 36th Annual International Reggae And World Music Awards (IRAWMA) will be revealed at this 37th Chicago Music Awards; and NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT PROCLAIMED, that I, Toni Preckwinkle, President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, and on behalf of the residents of Cook County, hereby proclaim Sunday, March 18, 2018 to be 37th Annual Chicago Music Awards and 36th Annual International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA) Day.

_______________________________ TONI PRECKWINKLE, President Cook County Board of Commissioners

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In Memoriam: Gone Too Soon:

Remembering Jay B. Ross

For the past 30 years, a seat in the audience at the Chicago Music Awards has always been filled by one of its biggest supporters and advisors, attorney Jay B Ross. A member of the Martin’s International family for many years, we have lost a gentle giant, director, sponsor, entertainment lawyer and friend. Ross’ contributions to this event have been immeasurable, tonight our hearts are saddened by the passing of Jay B. Ross on March 1, 2018. ”My friendship with J.B. Ross began in 1983 when we was the President of the Midwest Chapter of NARAS and I was interviewed on WBEZ radio for the Chicago Music Awards. He has been a friend to me and supporter of my events for 35 years. JB was slated to be one of the presenters for the 37th Chicago Music Awards tonight, for which he is a sponsor. In JB’s 35 - year history with the Chicago Music Awards, he attended almost all of the Awards ceremonies. Two years ago, at his tender age, he became the oldest rapper, with the release of the rap video “Sue the Bastard”, which gained him a nomination for Best New Entertainer in the Chicago Music Awards.” Ephraim Martin, Producer of the Chicago Music Awards. Jay Bernard Ross was born on February 12th in Brooklyn, New York. Orphaned at age two, Ross was raised by his aunt and uncle in Rockford, Illinois. He attended the University of Wisconsin and the University of Illinois law school. In 1969 he founded the law firm Jay B. Ross & Associates, which focused on entertainment law, his office was a staple in the West Loop area of Chicago. Over the course of his 50-year career, Ross was called in to consult and negotiate recording, licensing and publishing agreements with every major record company and with most of the prominent television and film corporations. Most notable was his work with the legendary, James Brown in his ongoing copyright disputes of his original musical creations. Ross was instrumental in developing the precedents that now protect artists whose material is sampled without permission. Ross was instrumental in helping his client’s or heirs of entertainers pursue their rights for nonpayment of royalties, unauthorized use of images and songwriters’ publishing rights. His past clients included such notables as: James Brown, Ray Charles, Dinah Washington, Big Mama Thornton, Judy Tenuta, Tom Dreesen, Emo Phillips, Gene “Duke of Earl” Chandler, The Spaniels, The Chi-Lites, Woody Gunthrie, Mahalia Jackson, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Willie Dixon, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Jimmy Dawkins, Joe Tex, Ethel Waters, Leadbelly, Sunny Boy Williamson, Howlin Wolf, Laverne Baker, Sugar Blue, Shirley King, Artie “Bluesboy” White, Arthur Crudup, Screamin’ Rachael, Farley “Jackmaster” Funk, The Dells, Eldoradoes, Soul Stirrers, Staple Singers, LaWanda Page (Aunt Esther), Cuba Gooding Sr (Main Ingredient), Ma Rainey’s heirs, Bessie Smith’s family and the list literally goes on and on. Ross was known for his ability to inform others and taught Entertainment Law at the Kent School of Law; the Chicago Board of Education and Columbia College. The funeral for our beloved Attorney Jay B. Ross was held on March 4 at Rockford Hebrew Cemetery. May he rest in peace.

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37th Chicago Music Awards Comes to Logan Center for the Arts Art Norman, Frank Pellegrino and Babs Savage CMA Hosts

This is the biggest music night in Chicago! The red carpet is being rolled out for the 37th annual Chicago Music Awards(CMA), which this year is combined with the 36th International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA), Sunday, March 18, 2018 at the Logan Center for the Arts – University of Chicago, Hyde Park, Chicago. Entertainers from iconic Pop/R&B star Chi-Lites Marshall Thompson, Reggae star Lt. Stitchie, premier rock star Lever, veteran blues singer Nellie “Tiger” Travis, R&B star Terisa Griffin to Asian/Indian world music star Sara Ranganathan and country western Suburban Cowboys. From the African soukous of Top-One Frisson and the Jamaican dub poem of Richie Innocent, to the Soul of Maurice Mahon and the ballroom dance of 94-year-old Doris Humphries, musicians will reflect the finest and liveliest of the music adored in Chicago. The Award’s celebration will be post televised tonight for airing in April. Others among the rich multicultural and most diverse lineup of performing talents include Hurricane Band (Reggae & Caribbean), The Polkaholics (European/Polka), Tamarie T & The Elektra Kumpany (Funk), BLAQ ICE (Spoken Love), K’Coneil (Reggae/Pop), God’s Posse (Gospel), Phenom (Hip Hop), Jennifer Zhang (Asian/Chinese) and others. Emcees are Art Norman, NBC 5 Chicago; English pop/R&B singer Babs Savage, performing also; and Bluesman Frank Pellegrino. DJ Matches, Jasmine Aaron, and the McDowell Brothers, will entertain during the VIP Reception. A highlight of the evening is the presentation of the Jean Baptiste Point DuSable Humanitarian Award which is slated for Chance the Rapper. Lifetime Achievement Awards and Awards of Honor for Contributions to the Music Industry will be presented to luminaries in the industry. The 2018 Chicago Music Awards Lifetime Achievement recipients are: Doris Humphries, 94-year-old, ballroom dancer and Robert Hecko, owner of B.L.U.E.S for 40 years of blues club entertainment. Awards of Honor will be presented to LeeAnn Trotter for outstanding media contributions to the entertainment industry and the late Willie Pickens, for extraordinary contribution to Jazz music worldwide. IRAWMA Lifetime awards will be given to, reggae legend Lt. Stitchie and reggae platinum artists Chaka Demus & Pliers; while Europe/London R&B/world music artist Babs Savage and African/ Ghanaian reggae premiere star Shatta Wale will be given the Martin’s International/IRAWMA Award of Honor. Dedicated to Health Awareness, sponsors include: NBC 5 Chicago, Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), The Look – A Women’s & Men’s Store, La Fruteria Inc., Old World Market, Rogers Park Fruit Market, Kingston Mines Blues Club, Payne Center for Medicine and Music (Doc Payne & the Payne Relief Smooth Blues Band), SAPNA (Sri Annamacharya Project of North America), All United Imports, Rasta Love Punch, African Spectrum, Africa USA Today magazine, CKW entertainment, Golden Krust Bakery, Kensey & Kensey Communications and others.

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Celebrating 30 years of glorious service to Indian Classical Performing Arts Promoting and Perpetuating tradition and innovation in the arts

SAPNA congratulates the CHICAGO MUSIC AWARDS on their successful 37th year and wishes them continued success For the first time in the World Music space, the ancient instrument from India “Veena” and a Veena artiste have been recognized and nominated SAPNA congratulates “Best Asian Entertainer” nominee

Saraswathi Ranganathan

for the unique historic honor at CMA 2018, and for being cross cultural ambassador bringing Veena from the East to global mainstream audience SAPNA salutes Martin’s International for their outstanding service to music

CONGRATULATIONS & BEST WISHES TO ALL THE NOMINEES!! Sri Annamacharya Project of North America Founders Dr. Sriram Sonty & Dr. Sarada Purna Sonty SAPNA Chicago Regd. 501 c 3 organization 3042 Carmel Drive Flossmoor, IL 708-805-4501 (c) 708-957-4302 (o)

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CMA Lifetime Achievers Doris Humphries Born on the West side of Chicago in 1924, Doris Humphries at 90-plus years young, is still doing what she loves most--dancing. As a child, she would mimic dancers she’d seen movies, attaching bottle caps to the soles of her shoes to reproduce the “tap” sound and their intricate steps. At 14, she joined an acrobatic “rhythm skating” group called: The Musketeers. Humphries met her dancing partner, Junior at Englewood High School. Following graduation, the duo known as “Dinky and Junior” toured the United States dancing with bandleader Louis Jordan. They performed with Sarah Vaughan, Billy Eckstein, and Dizzy Gillespie. They also danced in the Three Stooges movie called “Swing Parade.” In 1946, Humphries married and retired from dancing to focus on her family. Following the birth of her third child, she returned to dancing. While taking Jimmy Payne’s Afro-Cuban dance class, she met her next dance partner; together they were known as “Tony and Tanya Belle.” The duo gained notoriety for their innovative coupling of Latin and soul dance style. In 1986, Humphries was awarded a grant to create a neighborhood outreach program: ‘The Closet Performers’ for theatre & dance. She has been inducted into the City of Chicago’s Senior Citizen Hall of Fame, and is listed on the African-American registry: ‘The History Makers’. Humphries continues teaching ballroom, Latin, and tap dancing, at the South Shore Cultural Center, Dance Gallery Chicago in Beverly, Oak View Park Center and Moraine Valley College.

Robert Hecko Shortly after graduating DePaul University Robert Hecko opened an 18 and over bar called The Omni at 2519 N. Halsted in 1977. In 1979 the liquor laws changed to 21 and over, so Robert needed to find a new clientele. Fortunately Robert was told about a club that was losing their lease and needed to find a new space. That club was called, “Elsewhere” which was run by Bill Gilmore as a live blues venue and the two decided to become partners. That partnership lasted almost two decades and expanded into a second Chicago blues club, B.L.U.E.S. Etc as well as a couple of clubs in New York City, Chicago B.L.U.E.S. N.Y. All of these clubs regularly hosted the best blues bands, mainly Chicago blues and other notable blues bands from around the USA—Otis Rush, Junior Wells, Magic Slim, Albert King, Albert Collins, Sunnyland Slim, Dr. John and many, many more. When Robert and Bill dissolved their partnership, Bill went on to open his own club in Evanston and Robert scaled back to the original B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted where he continues to have the best in live Chicago blues every week. B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted was recently voted #3 most popular live music venue in the USA by Yelp customers.

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CMA Award of Honor Chance the Rapper Grammy award winning rapper and activist, Chance the rapper is being honored tonight for his humanitarian efforts. Born Chancelor Johnathan Bennett, he released his first mixtape while still in high school. In 2014, Chance was named “Outstanding Youth of the Year” by Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel. His third mixtape, “Coloring Book,” released in 2016, brought him further acclaim as the first streaming artist to earn three Grammys. He would later donate his Grammy Award for best rap album to Chicago’s DuSable Museum of African American History. Chance’s interest in social justice, welfare and education stem partly from his upbringing, partly from his own awareness and conscience. In 2016, Chance attended the White House to meet Barack Obama to discuss the “My Brother’s Keeper Challenge.” In 2017, he earned a place on Time magazine’s list of the “100 most influential people” and the BET Awards honored him with their “Humanitarian Award.” Through his youth empowerment charity, “Social Works.” Chance has raised $2.5 million for Chicago Public Schools and has donated $1 million of his own money to 20 schools for arts education programs. As a result of his initial effort, other corporations came on board with donations: Jewel-Osco,, Lyft, LANDR, Conagra Brands Foundation and Starbucks. Chance the Rapper said he is already securing funds to help support more Chicago schools this year.

CMA Jean Baptiste Point DuSable Humanitarian Award

LeeAnn Trotter


Willie Pickens

A piano powerhouse, Willie Pickens began his career on Eddie Harris’s 1961 national hit record, Exodus, since then playing with the likes of James Moody, Roy Eldridge, Max Roach, Clark Terry, Ira Sullivan, and Elvin Jones. But instead of staying on the touring jazz scene, Willie chose to make a home in Hyde Park, become a Chicago Public School (CPS) teacher, an active member of the Hyde Park Union Church, and a mentor to scores of upcoming musicians. Following his retirement from CPS, Willie increased his performance schedule. By the time he passed his 80th birthday, Willie was busier, more in demand, and playing better than ever. He maintained a vigorous schedule, mentoring in Ravinia’s Jazz Scholar program, teaching at Northern Illinois University, and performing frequently at the Jazz Showcase, among other venues. Willie Pickens, 86, jazz pianist, composer, arranger, and educator passed away on December 12, 2017 while preparing for a show at Lincoln Center in New York City.

LeeAnn Trotter is a feature reporter for NBC5, covering arts & entertainment, food, and fun events happening around town. She is also a contributor to NBC’s “Making a Difference” franchise. This Chicago native joined NBC 5 in December 2005, after working at CLTV for 8 years. There, she anchored the weekend news and hosted the award winning entertainment show, “Metromix: The TV Show”, which earned her a local Emmy and several nominations for Best On Camera Performance. Prior to working at CLTV, she was the News and Public Affairs Director at WUSN-FM, where she reported news on the morning show and hosted, “Chicago Up Close,” a weekly public affairs show. She also worked briefly at Fox News and WGN Radio. LeeAnn began her broadcasting career at WBBM Newsradio 780, where she held numerous positions, including production manager and traffic reporter. LeeAnn graduated from the University of Illinois at Champaign with a degree in Broadcast Journalism, and attended high school at02 the 19 Latin School of Chicago.

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37th Annual Chicago Music Awards(CMA) Honoring the Best Chicagoland Entertainers in all Music Genres Revealing/Announcement of 36 th International Reggae & World Music Awards (IRAWMA) Winners Sunday, March 18th, 2018 LOGAN CENTER FOR THE ARTS-UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO 1340 W. Washington Boulevard Chicago, IL Red Carpet Arrival/VIP Reception begins at 5:30pm Awards Ceremony begins at 7:00pm CMA Hosts: Art Norman(NBC 5 Chicago), Bluesman Frank Pellegrino(Kingston Mines) and Singer Babs Savage


6:55 PM Introduction of Hosts: Art Norman(NBC 5 Chicago), Bluesman Frank Pellegrino(Kingston Mines) and Singer Babs Savage Opening Remarks Tonight, there are 80 winners to be announced and/or to be presented for both the Chicago Music Awards(CMA) and the International Reggae & World Music Awards(IRAWMA). A few of the categories will be presented on stage, others will be announced and scrolled on the video screen throughout tonight’s event. 7:00 PM Opening Performance 7:15 PM Presentation of Award and Special Lifetime Achievement Honor 7:25 PM Showtime/Performance 7:30 PM Presentation of Awards and Award of Honor 7:40 PM Showtime/Performance 7:50 PM Presentation of Awards and Special Lifetime Achievement Honor

5:30-7:00 PM

8:00 PM Showtime/Performance

Red Carpet arrivals and VIP Reception for nominees, performers, presenters, special honorees, media and VIP ticket holders

8:10 PM Presentation of Awards

VIP Reception: DJ Matches, Jasmine Aaron and the McDowell Brothers will entertain during the VIP Reception

8:20 PM Showtime/Performance

Recognition of sponsors: NBC 5 Chicago, Telemundo, Payne Center for Music and Medicine, The Look – A Women’s & Men’s Store, Old World Market, Kingston Mines Blues Club, SAPNA, Rogers Park Fruit Market, La Fruteria, Inc., CKW Entertainment. All United Imports, Vibe-In Radio and others. The Lifetime and Special Awards are sponsored in memory of Rev. Dr. Shelvin Jerome Hall and Mrs. Lucy Mae Hall.

8:30 PM Presentation of Awards/Special Awards of Honor Martin’s International CEO/President Ephraim Martin Remarks Lifetime Achievement Awards Presentations

6:10 PM Seating of presenters, performers

8:35 PM Showtime/Performance

6:10 PM Seating of special honorees, VIP ticket holders

8:45 PM Presentation of Awards/Special Honors

6:30 PM General Admission ticket holders enter auditorium

8:55 PM Showtime/Performance

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The 37th International Reggae & World Music Awards(IRAWMA), will be held in May 2019 in Jamaica. More details to follow. The IRAWMA honors Reggae & World Music entertainers who will be walking the red carpet, making acceptance speeches and performing live on stage! For more information, call 312-427-0266, visit and

9:25 PM Showtime/Performance

9:30 PM Presentation of Awards

9:00 PM Presentation of Awards/Special Honors

9:35 PM Showtime/Performance

9:05 PM Showtime/Performance 9:15 PM Recognition of sponsors: NBC 5 Chicago, Telemundo, Payne Center for Music and Medicine, The Look – A Women’s & Men’s Store, Old World Market, Kingston Mines Blues Club, SAPNA, Rogers Park Fruit Market, La Fruteria, Inc., CKW Entertainment. All United Imports, Vibe-In Radio and others. The Lifetime and Special Awards are sponsored in memory of Rev. Dr. Shelvin Jerome Hall and Mrs. Lucy Mae Hall. Upcoming Martin’s International Event Announcements: The 26th African/Caribbean International Festival of Life (IFOL), July 6th-8th, 2018 Independence Weekend in Chicago’s Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph(Lake & Ashland) in Chicago. This weekend family festival features international and local acts on two stages. Union Park is located in the trendy downtown Chicago loop. The three day event will be fun, food, entertainment, arts & crafts for the entire family! Visit or

9:45 PM Presentation of Awards/Special Honors

9:53 PM Showtime/Performance

Grand finale follows All entertainers, sponsors, staff, volunteers and other participants on stage as we say… Thank you for your support! Have a prosperous year and see you in 2018 for the 37th Annual Chicago Music Awards ceremony! Like us @chicagomusicawards!

After party follows at Kingston Mines Blues Club, 2548 N. Halsted Street, until 4:00am……..

The 2nd Jerk, Seafood & Vegan Festival(JSV), September 8th & 9th, 2018, 2400 S. Dearborn(near 24th and State Street, between McCormick Place and Chinatown). The two day food-feast will feature Jerk, Seafood and Vegan food vendors and entertainment for the entire family! Visit for more information.

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1. Pop International Entertainer of the Year * Chance the Rapper * Jennifer Hudson * Jeremih * Lupe Fiasco * Wilco 2. Blues International Entertainer of the Year-Payne Center for Medicine & Music * Billy Branch * Buddy Guy * Kinsey Report * Mississippi Heat * Nellie “Tiger” Travis

3. Jazz International Entertainer of the Year * Orbert Davis * Kurt Elling * Dee Alexander * Marquis Hill * Maurice Brown 4. Pop Entertainer of the Year-Sponsored by NBC 5 Chicago * B.J. The Chicago Kid * Chi-Lites featuring Marshall Thompson * Steve Grand * Vic Mensa 5. R&B Entertainer of the Year * Jeremih * Jamila Woods * Sandy Redd * Slique – Jay Adams * Terisa Griffin 6. Best New Entertainer Sponsored by Jay B. Ross & Associates * Famous Dex * Knox Fortune * Mick Jenkins * Sir the Baptist * Taylor Bennett 7. Best Female Vocalist Sponsored by FloMo Productions * Grazyna Auguscik * Lili K * Krystal Metcalfe * Terisa Griffin * Eryn Allen Kane

8. Best Male Vocalist- Sponsored by Old World Market * Adam Ness * Mark Hood * Matthew Santos * Maurice Mahon *Taylor Mallory

9. Best Reggae Entertainer/Band-Sponsored by Wild Hare Reggae Club * Indika * Devon Brown & Love Dis * Hurricane * Da Machine *Yabba Griffiths & Traxx 10. Best Classical Entertainer

15. Best Spoken Word/Poet * BLAQ ICE * Kevin Coval * K- Love The Poet * Mayda Del Valle * PHENOM 16. Best African Entertainer- Sponsored by African Spectrum * Baby J- Eritrea/Ethiopia * Chicago Afrobeat Project - Chicago * K-Adophy & De-Meritable – Nigeria * ReeZon - Ghana * SLV – Nigeria 17. Comedian of the Year

* Eighth Blackbird * Eric Owens * Qiana McNary * Janai Brugger * Rachel Barton

* Cameron Esposito * Damon Williams * DeRay Davis * Hannibal Buress * Kyle Kinane * Lil Rel

11. Best Calypso/Soca Entertainer-Sponsored by All United Imports

18. Best Latin Entertainer- Sponsored by La Fruiteria, Inc

* Gizzae * Potts and Pans Steelband * Hurricane * The Chicago Rebelz * Mr. Myers

* Dos Santos Antibeat* El Tali * Son de Mexico Ensemble * Juno * Sarcastic

12. Best Blues Entertainer- Sponsored by Kingston Mines Blues Club

19. Best Gospel Entertainer –

* Jamiah Rogers on Fire * Joann Connor * Mike Wheeler * Nellie Travis * Toronzo Cannon 13. Best Rock Entertainer–Sponsored by Rogers Park Fruit Market * Lever * Melkbelly * NE-HI *Sleep On It *Whitney 14. Best Jazz Entertainer-Sponsored by Kensey & Kensey Communications, Inc * Carolyn Fitzhugh * Chris Greene Quartet * George Freeman * Makaya McCreven * Typhanie Monique

* BJ McKenzie * Johnson & VIP Voices of Innerpeace * God’’s Posse * Lady Lavanga Hubbard * New Direction 20. Best Country/Western Entertainer * Bella Cain * Brett Ryan Aldridge * Robbie Folks * Suburban Cowboys * The Henhouse Prowlers 21. Best Hip Hop/Rap Entertainer * Famous Dex * G. Herb * Sir the Baptist * Mick Jenkins * Twista * Vic Mensa

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22. Most Outstanding Dance Group

30. Most Popular Music TV Show

38. Best House Music DJ

* Hubbard Street Dance Chicago * Monte Dance Theatre * M.A.D.D. Rhythms * Nadia Dance Corps * RAKS GEEK

* * JBTV * Mystic Vibes * Steppin 2 Heaven * Urban Grind TV

23. Best Indie Entertainer

31. Most Outstanding Show/Band or Group

*DJ Emanuel * DJ Lugo Rosado * DJ Sundance * Gene Hunt * Mike Dunn * Terry Hunter * Wayne Williams

* Benzie * Melkbelly * SupBe *Taylor Bennett * Recon Reckless

* Funkadesi* Suburban Cowboys * Tamarie T. & The Elektra Kumpany * The Remedy * Whitney

24. Best Asian Entertainer-Sponsored by SAPNA (Sri Annamacharya Project of North America

32. Most Popular Entertainment Club- Sponsored by Son of Thunder, Inc

* Dr. Qing Fan-China * Jennifer Zhang-China * Sara Ranganathan- India * Tatsu Aoki- Japan * YijiZhang-China * Zeshan B-Indo-Pakistani 25. Best European Entertainer * Caroline Baran * Grazyna Auguscik * Markus P * Road’s End- * The Polkaholics 26. Most Talented Teen(s) (13yrs-19yrs) * Caroline Baran * McDowell Brothers * Keon Guyton - * Clayton Mann * The Instinct Chicago 27. Record Label of the Year * Closed Sessions * Bonafyde Media * Bloodshot Records * Inspired People – Pastor Charles Jenkins Records * Sooper 28. Record Producer of the Year * C-Sick * Hitmaka * Jlin * Minty Fresh Inc *Young Chop 29. Songwriter of the Year-Sponsored by CKW Entertainment * Davin Horton * Hitmaka * Jeremih * Psalmist Raine * Vic Mensa

* Cubby Bear * Kingston Mines * The Promontory * Reggie’s Rock Club * Smart Bar 33. Most Popular Blues Club- Sponsored by Cyrius Entertainment * Blue Chicago * B.L.U.E.S. * Buddy Guy’s Legends * Kingston Mines * Rosa’s Lounge 34. Most Popular MUSIC Radio-DJ * DJ Jamal Smallz - WGCI FM* DJ. Lil John – Soul 106 FM * DJ Lin Brehmer - WXRT FM * DJ. Phantom - V- 103 FM * Jniice - B-96 (96.3FM) * Johnny Cerda - La Ley- 107.9 FM * Pharris - Power 92 FM

39. Best Reggae/Dancehall DJ Sponsored by Rasta Love Punch * DJ. Ringo - One Blood * King Lion * DJ. Matches * DJ. Boombostic * Dedo Hight Grade 40. Most Talented KID (S) (UNDER 12 yrs old) * Giovanni Mazza * Hadiya Love * Skylar Alyvia SPECIAL HONOREES: Special Jean Point DuSable Humanitarian Award * Chance The Rapper Hall of Fame/Lifetime Achievement Award * Doris Humphries * Robert Hecko Special Chicago Music (CMA) Award of Honor * Lee Ann Trotter * Willie Pickens –Posthumous

35. Most Popular College/Community Radio * WLUW 88.7FM * WHPK 88.5 FM * WCRX 88.1 FM * WDCB- 90. 9 FM * WKKC 89.3 FM 36. Best EDM(Electronic Dance Music) Entertainer * BiPolar Beatz * DJ Rae Chardonnay * Flosstradamus * Jason Maek x Zaena * The Black Madonna 37. Best Stepper DJ * DJ Casper- Mr. C * DJ Cermella * DJ Sam Chatman * DJ Raphael * DJ Smooth

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Marshall Thompson is known as the “The Godfather of Vocal Groups”, he is the only remaining original member of the legendary Chi-Lites. The Chi-Lites were formed in 1959 in Chicago when two groups— The Desideros and The Chantours merged into one. The classic lineup consisted of Eugene Record, Robert “Squirrel” Lester, Creadel “Red” Jones and Marshall Thompson. Initially called the Hi-Lites, their name conflicted with that of another group, they changed their name to the Chi-Lites, aligning themselves with Chicago. For more than 50 years, the Chi-Lites have been synonymous with “Sound of Chicago”. Their first hit, “Let Me Be the Man My Daddy Was,” made the national charts. But it was songs “Have You Seen Her’” and “Oh, Girl” that catapulted the Chi-Lites to fame. In February of 2004, the Chi-Lites received a Grammy Award for their work on Beyoncé Knowles’ song “Crazy in Love,” which won the Best R&B Song award. In 2006. Marshall Thompson keeps a rigorous schedule, recording and touring, entertaining audiences worldwide.

Terisa Griffin affectionately called, “The Empress of Soul”, is an exciting entertainer, song writer, actress, producer, and philanthropist. Mentored by Chicago’s Own Jerry “Ice Man” Butler, Terisa landed national exposure singing backup for Diana Ross on an “Oprah” telecast. Through her production company, My Naked Soul Productions, Inc., Terisa wrote, produced and stared in a series of “One Voice, One Woman” shows and she has successfully produced three albums. Terisa made her acting debut in Director Hill Harper’s movie “The Truth” and she wrote the title song for the movie “Can’t Stop Loving You”. Griffin’s newest CD “Revival of Soul”, is a testament to “Soul” music. Her rendition of Marvin Gaye’s “Distant Lover” ignites on the sensual, soulful CD. A former contestant of Season 3 of NBC’s “The Voice”, Griffin is known for her electrifying voice and dynamic live performances. She has enraptured audiences and followers through her music internationally.

Chicago’s LEVER band identifies as a “bipolar grunge pop.” The four-piece group grabs influences from many different areas of music, from THE VINES to THE BEATLES, and polish it up into their own unique sound. Not too polished, though, grit and distortion still rule on the majority of their songs. These dudes are super hungry and play wherever they can – wrestling matches, flea markets, dive bars and music venues. Lever members include: Jon Babin(Lead Vocals/Guitar), Jeff Aquino(Guitar/Vocals), Branden Erker(Bass) and Michael Reinhold(Drums). Their debut album, “Hover Bored” was released in 2015. We Are Television said the album “can be enjoyed by the punks and pop enthusiasts alike. With all those hooks, you’re bound to be humming one of their tunes eventually.”

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CMA Performers


Hip-Hop/Spoken Word

Phenom In 2000, Phenom, born Teh’Ray Hale earned 2nd place in Source Magazine’s Unsigned Hype Emcee Battle out of 1000 contestants. Phenom later founded the poetic theater collective POETREE(People’s Organized Entertainment Teaching Righteous Education Everywhere). In 1995, First Lady Michelle Obama chose him for the Public Allies program where he worked with youth employing violence prevention strategies. Phenom started L.Y.R.I.C. (Let Your Rhymes Inspire Creativity) with poet K-Love in 2009. Today, the L.Y.R.I.C. program serves Chicago high school students showing them how to write and perform poetry as a non-violent mean to stopping the violence in their neighborhoods. In 2010 PHENOM collaborated with Yaw & Khari Lemmuel to release “Jah Makin’ Funk” and released his mixtape entitled “Wake UP World”. 2015 marked the release of Phenom’s electrifying album, “I Didn’t Come I Was Sent”. This Source Magazine Unsigned Hype Battle Winner is currently receiving calls from Universal, Bad Boy Entertainment, OHM Recordings and a host of other independent labels throughout the world. His single “Jah Makin’ Funk” is expected to catapult him into the limelight where he will without a doubt gain the respect of anyone making music today.


Saraswathi Ranganathan Hailing from a family of musicians, Saraswathi Ranganathan started learning Veena at the age of 6. This passionate interest with extensive listening to great stalwarts blossomed into Saraswathi’s deep knowledge in Carnatic Classical music as well as an openness and receptivity to blend Carnatic classical with western, flamenco, Turkish, Afro, Blues, Jazz and other genres. Her collaborative album with internationally acclaimed Mridangam Maestro Patri Satish Kumar ‘The Magic of Veena – Vol 2’ has received numerous reviews. While working for the “Jungle Book” project, Saraswathi gathered highly talented members from the Jungle Book orchestra, forming a band ‘Out-of-the-Jungle’ that successfully gave performances featuring this unique Indo-Jazz-Turkish sound. Surabhi a band founded by Saraswathi has a prolific track record of performances delighting audiences with their energetic yet melodiously refreshing indo-jazz-flamencoblues grooves. In addition to performances, Saraswathi offers special classes to Classical Jazz/Rock guitarists on improvisational music.

The Polkaholics The Polkaholics puts the “oomph” back in “oom-pah”, a punk edge on polka-it’s fast, furious, and fun! Local Chicago musicians, Dandy Don Hedeker(Algebra Suicide & Bouncing Balls), Jumpin’ George Kraynak (New Rob Robbies) and Merry Mike Werner (Handsome Family) were tired of the dark and dirty woes of the local Chicago alternative scene. Formed in ‘97, the Polkaholics fused their two main influences: the polka standards of Windy City polka king Lil’ Wally and the ‘70s punk explosion of late guitar god Johnny Thunders (New York Dolls). Besides their self-titled debut and ‘Polkas on Guitar,’ The Polkaholics are featured on the German compilation ‘American Polka’ by Trikont Records. In 2001, after 4 years of polkaholicism, Merry Mike and Jumpin’ George moved on, but Polka Action Jackson Wilson and Jolly James Wallace (Dragon Girls, Apartment) stepped in to join Dandy Don to keep pushin’ the polka! Since then, Stylin’ Steve Glover took over the 2-beat time keeping in 2009 and Blitz Linster took over bass duties in 2012. The quest continues!

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Suburban Cowboys is one of the most sought-after country cover acts in the Midwest. Headlining 100+ annual shows including prestigious venues such as Joe’s On Weed Street in Chicago, Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar (several locations), Country Thunder, many fairs and fests! They have performed on the same bill and in some cases the same stage with artists like Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton, Zac Brown Band, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Jerrod Niemann, Miranda Lambert, Big N Rich, The Band Perry, Thomas Rhett, Thompson Square, Jake Owen, Keith Urban, Keith Anderson, Justin Moore, Dustin Lynch, Dierks Bentley, Little Big Town, The Farm, Neal McCoy, Jason Sturgeon, Aaron Watson, Dan & Shay, Head East, Warrant, Jimmie Van Zandt and many more

Tamarie T has always followed his own beat, from the way he fashions beads in his hair, tosses an antique satin trench coat over his petite shoulders, to the style of music he creates and even the way he thinks; he’s never been one to fit in with the crowd. At an early age Tamarie T. discovered a love for the art of music, especially Funk. This began hours on top of hours a day dissecting and recreating the craft. His music professional experiences include performing with popular Chicago musicians in Windy City venues. Tamarie T is currently focusing on creating music and doing major performances with his team “Tamarie T and The Elektra Kumpany.” This dynamic group of musicians united to bring music that shocks and rocks your soul with a groove that make you dance, think, and feel. They create and perfect a very unique sound/genre Tamarie calls “Exotic Funk”.

Exotic Funk

R&B sensation Maurice Mahon, winner of the first “Chicago Idol” contest sponsored by Fox Television and Clear Channel, has gained remarkable success as a performing and recording artist. Within a few short years he has been taken under the wing of mogul producer/singer R Kelly as his only male back-up singer, he has recorded and released a new CD, “New Face of Soul LIVE”. He has made concert appearances with artists Kelly Price, Kim Burrell, Angie Stone, Christopher Williams, Dave Hollister and Angela Martin. Maurice Mahon is a Churchill artist who, along with his band The New Face of Soul, brings his brand of electronic soul music to Churchill venues and concerts near you. Don’t miss this amazing artist that connects with audience through his personable performance and soulful interpretation!

Jennifer Zhang is an award-winning musician that plays various instruments such as the Chinese Transverse Bamboo Flute (Dizi), the Chinese Vertical Bamboo Flute (Xiao), the Chinese Bottle Gourd Silk (Hulusi), the Chinse Reed Flute (Bawu), the piano and the Chinese Zither (Guzheng). Her musical journey started under the guidance of many well-known professors in China, such as Chunling Lu (Dizi), Yue Chen (Dizi & Xiao), Xiaosheng Zhao (piano) and Baili Fang (piano). She achieved level ten in both the Chinese Bamboo Flute (Dizi) and the piano. After graduating from Northwestern University, Jennifer studied at the Berklee School of Music and the Central Conservatory of Music in China. Jennifer has won numerous awards in music and musical performing arts. Crowned as the 2015 Miss Friendship Ambassador of Chicago, she represented Chicago in the 2015 Miss Chinese International Pageant in Hong Kong. Jennifer then went on to win the title of 2017 Miss 02 China International. 30


Blaq Ice

Spoken Word

BLAQ ICE is a poet, award winning international Spoken Word life artist, entertainer, lecturer, promoter, producer, host, published author, DJ, mentor and activist. Not only has he left an imprint in arts and entertainment, he has also left his footprint in communities all across America with an artist/activist movement, inspiring ordinary people to use their gifts to do extraordinary work in their communities. Blaq Ice is a three-time National Poetry Award winner; a four-time Spoken Word Magazine Award winner; a two-Time Chicago Music Award(CMA) winner, his poetry has been taught at East-West University; he has appeared on the Touchvision TV show “Real Words” and his poetry has been featured in two films. He’s also founder and President of P.O.E.T (People of Extraordinary Talent), an artist/activist organization who mentors the youth, visits homeless shelters, gives out yearly scholarships, visits prisons and teaches Spoken Word and creative expression as an alternative to violence. P.O.E.T has members and chapters throughout the United States, Canada and the UK.

Nellie “Tiger” Travis


Nellie “Tiger” Travis was born to sing the blues, her roots extend back to Mississippi where she grew up singing gospel music. In 2009, Nellie was crowned the “New Queen of The Blues” in Chicago by Bluesman and WVON radio personality Pervis Spann, who previously bestowed that honor on the late KoKo Taylor. Nellie wrote and recorded a tribute to her friend entitled “KoKo” (Queen of The Blues) and it’s on Nellie’s “I’m Goin’ Out Tonight” album. Nellie knocks out audiences with her powerful vocals and irresistible stage charisma from Japan, Greece, Italy, Germany, Brazil and all the way back to her home in Mississippi,. Nellie earned the nickname “Tiger,” which aptly describes her intense, feline vocal style as well as her feisty, independent personality. She’s a permanent headlining personality at many of Chicago’s blues clubs and has shared the stage with: Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Koko Taylor, Gladys Knight, and Ronnie Baker Brooks just to name a few.


God’s Posse

God’s Posse was founded by Nelson Larkins in 1999. Members include: Ray Burnett, Tim Henderson, Anthony Watkins, John Atkins, Deonadre Sanders, Cedrick Montgomery, Antonio Atkins, Corey Williams, Randy Berry Sr, Keith Hoskins Jr and Dennis Qualls. Gods Posse first recording was entitled “Gotta Do Work in the Church.” In 2014, they released the single, “God Got A Blessing”, followed by the live album “The Kind of God we Serve” in 2017. The album featured tracks: “The Kind of God we Serve”, “Put Your Trust in Jesus,” “Your Blessing is on its Way”, and “Back Back Train” to name of few. God’s Posse has shared the stage with: The Canton Spirituals, Lee Williams and Spiritual QCS, Spencer Taylor and Highway QCS, The Jackson Southernaires, Donnie McClurkin, Joe Ligon and The Mighty Clouds of Joy and many more. Gods Posse has many accolades like nominations at the Rhythm of Gospel Music Awards, Texas Gospel Music Excellence Award and the Stellar Awards.

The Hurricane Reggae Band Cleve “Hurricane” Jean Jacques’ musical career began at an early age when he began performing as lead guitarist and vocalist in Dominica. In 1986, he made an impact in the arena of Calypso music and over the next 14 years he performed in Europe, Central America, South America, Canada, the United States and the Caribbean. Hurricane has shared the stage with Mighty Sparrow, Arrow, Ziggy Marley, Shaggy, Luciano, Morgan Heritage, Steel Pulse and more. At competition level, he has been crowned “Calypso King” and “Road March King” three times at the national level in Dominica. He was also crowned “Caribbean King” in 1996 and seventh in the World Monarch Competition. In 2012, Hurricane was inducted into the Dominica Calypso “Kaiso” Hall of Fame. Presently, Hurricane resides in Chicago leading The Hurricane Reggae Band, which won the Chicago Music Award for Best Reggae Entertainer(2013 and 2014). The band performs as a quartet or orchestra, featuring a brass section or steel pan. Hurricane also performs as a solo artist thrilling audiences worldwide.


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IRAWMA Performers

Top One Frisson

Music Artist, Top-One Frisson, former member of the groups VELSY Kipiala and Les Jeunes Premiers began her solo career in 2008. He has shared the stage or worked in the studio with numerous artists including: Kassav, Mr. Vegas, Tarrus Riley, Dr. Sakis, Yondo Sister, Kaysha, Teeyah, to name a few. His first album, Kimona Meso(2008), earned him several trophies: Best Soukous Entertainer at International Reggae & World Music Awards(IRAWMA); Best International Artist at Afro Entertainment Awards(USA) and the OBE TV Award in Great Brittan. His second album, Kifula MPaka (Never Give Up), a coproduction between Studio International, Afrodisiac Production and PMC Production was released in 2014. That same year he was nominated for “Artist of the Year”, “Song of the Year” and “Video of the Year” at the African NAFCA Awards. Last year he received several nominations at the 35th IRAWMA Awards. His third album, Vingu (The Force), was recently released, with the breakout single, “Never Tired”. Top-One Frisson is looking forward to performing at the 36TH IRAWMA tonight and honored to be nominated for the coveted IRAWMA trophy.

K’ Coneil

Singer-songwriter K’Coneil was born in Jamaica and migrated to the United States on a college scholarship. His music is a fusion of Reggae, Pop and R&B what he calls “Genre Fluid”. He gained popularity with the release of singles like “Light Skin Love” produced by Sean ‘Seanizzle’ Reid. In 2016 K’Coneil released his debut EP titled “Love/Lust” who charted on Billboard, and top 10 Reggae iTunes chart. The EP delivered hit singles like “Hot Like You”, “Feel So Right” and “Loving You Right”. In 2016 he teamed up with Canadian recording artist Kreesha Turner on the single “Love How You Whine” produced by Grammy Award producer Troyton Rami. The two performed the single at the 2016 Canadian CUT Hip Hop Awards in Toronto, Canada. K’Coneil is described as a blend of Sean Paul and Usher, and after his first Jamaican promo tour was called the next Jamaican breakthrough superstar.

Richie Innocent Every so often an artist emerges on the entertainment scene who has the talent to transform a genre or an art form to new heights. Dub Poet/Spoken Word Artist Richie Innocent is one such artist. The easy-going poet has carved a niche for himself on the Jamaican poetry scene with thought-provoking poems such as “The Monster,” “Hills Mi Deh,” “Come Mi Community” and “Good Old Days.” He was recently nominated for the “Best Spoken Word Artist/Dub Poet of the Year” in the 2018 IRAWMA Awards. He made his recording debut in 1995 with a song titled “Whoe,” followed by “Drugs Fi Gun” and “Herbalist.” In 2014 he decided to turn his attention to Dub Poetry full time and has delivered memorable performances: GT’s Christmas Extravaganza, the IRIE FM Marcus Garvey Celebration, Jamaica Poetry Festival, Dis Poem Words and Agro Fest to name a few. The humble Rastafarian poet is also a trained youth advocate currently working on his upcoming spoken word EP titled “I Am Special.”

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36th IRAWMA NOMINEES 1. Bob Marley Award for Entertainer of the Year * Alkaline * Busy Signal * Chronixx * Damian Marley * Popcaan 2. Best Male Vocalist * Beres Hammond * Chris Martin * Chronixx * Romain Virgo * Tarrus Riley

6. Best Crossover Song

14. Best Soukous Entertainer

* Clean Bandit, Sean Paul and Ann-Marie-“Rockabye” “ * Popcaan and Drake -“Chargie” * Charly Black - Gyal You A Party Animal ft. Daddy Yankee * Pitbull feat. Stephen Marley –“Options” * Kid Ink – “Nasty, ft. Jeremih, Spice

* Awilo Longomba * Celeo Scram * Fally Ipupa * Koffi Olomide * Top One Frisson

7. Best Gospel Entertainer * DJ. Nicholas * DJ Proclaima * Kevin Downswell * Lt. Stitchie * Minister Marion Hall

* Iration * Stick Figure * Rebelution * Slightly Stoopid * Soja

8. Best Male Dancehall Artist * Alkaline * Aidonia * Busy Signal * Popcaan * Vybz Kartel 9. Best Female Dancehall Artist * Spice * Shenseea * Ishawna * Danielle

3. Best Female Vocalist

10. Best New Entertainer

* Hirie * Queen Ifrica * Marcia Griffiths * Rankin Pumpkin * Tanya Stephens

* Charly Black * Double Tiger * K’Coneil * Savage Savo * Shenseea

4. Best Song

11. Best Calypso/Soca Entertainer

* Aidonia-“Banga” * Alkaline-“After All’ * Agent Sasco-“Winning Right Now” * Protoje-“Blood Money” * Dexta Daps-“Owner”

* Aaron “Voice” St. Louis * Calypso Rose * Machel Montano * Patrice Roberts * Destra

5. Best Album/CD

12. Best Latin/Reggaeton Entertainer

* Chronixx-“Chronology” * Common Kings –“Lost In Paradise” * Damian Jr. Gong Marley –“Stony Hill” *Boog-“Wash House Ting” * Morgan Heritage –“Avrakedabra” * Sizzla– “Fought For Dis”

* Daddy Yankee * J Alvarez * J Balvin * Don Omar * Pitbull 13. Best African Entertainer * Davido- Nigeria * Eddy Kenzo - Uganda * Stonebwoy - Ghana * Shatta Wale - Ghana * Wizkid- Nigeria

15. Best Reggae Rock Entertainer

16. Best Music Video * Charly Black –“Gyal You A Party Animal”, ft. Daddy Yankee * Dexter Daps - “Bring It to the Owner” * Pitbull feat. Stephen Marley-“Options” * Sean Paul – “Crick Neck” ft. Chi Ching Ching * Sean Paul feat. Tory Lanez- “Tek WehYuh Heart 17. Best Spoken Word/Poet * DYCR * Malachi * Mutabaruka * Richie Innocent * Yasus Afarij 18. Most Cultural/Educational Entertainer * Capleton * Chronixx * Luciano * Tarrus Riley * Sizzla 19. Most Outstanding Show Band/Group * Capleton & the Prophecy Band * Inner Circle * New Kingston * Raging Fyah * Rebulation

20. Most Consistent Entertainer * Freddie McGregor * Inner Circle * Marcia Griffiths * Sly & Robbie * Toots Hibbert

21. Most Promising Entertainer

28. Record Producer of the Year

* Chezidek * Duane Stephenson * Jahmiel * Mr. Easy * New Kingston Band * Skip Marley

* Chimney Records * DJ Frass * Frenz for Real Records * GBM Nutron - Trinidad * Phillip Winta James * Tarik ‘Rvssian’ Johnston - Head Concussion Records * Seannizzle

22. Best Instrumentalist- Sponsored by * Dean Fraser * Sly & Robbie * Tony Greene 23. Most Popular Sound Selector/DJ * Bass Odyssey * King Turbo * Mighty Crown * Stone Love * Tony Matterhorn 24. Concert of the Year * Best of the Best-Florida * Reggae Sumfest – Jamaica * Rebel Salute-Jamaica * Summerjam –Germany * Rototom Sunsplash- Spain 25. Most Outstanding Dance Group

29. Marcus Garvey Humanitarian Award Nominees * Capleton * Josef Bogdanovich- Downsound Records * Shaggy SPECIAL HONOREES: Hall of Fame/Lifetime Achievement Award * Chaka Demus and Pliers * Lt. Stitchie Special International Reggae & World Music (IRAWMA) Award of Honor * Babs Savage(London) * Shatta Wale(Ghana)

* Kenkouran Dance Academy- West Africa * Ravers Clavers– Jamaica * Triplets Ghetto Kids- Uganda 26. Best Haitian Entertainer * Disip Gazzman Couleur * Arly Larivie’re (Nulook) * Richie & Pipo Klass * Sweet Micky 27. Best Caribbean Entertainer- Sponsored by VP Records * Calypso Rose * Daddy Yankee * Inner Circle * Machel Montano * Third World

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“I AM SOMEBODY” The New Single By Maurice Mahon

Chicago Campus 530 S. State Street Chicago, IL 60605 872-241-1131

Lombard Campus 455 Eisenhower Lane S #200 Lombard, IL 60148 630-796-4651

Individual Category Sponsor & Advertising Package

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OUT NOW IG: @newfaceofsoul


Award of Honor Babs Savage

Babs has performed on London stages from the early age of 15 where her 9 piece jazz funk band hit the nightclubs of SoHo and Camden and North West London. She can connect with all music but has a really passionate ear for jazz, Soul and R&B, which is now her musical genre. After an education at the Central School of Speech and Drama, Babs decided to become an acupuncturist and went on to build a �lourishing practice. She put her career on hold for her family, but three children later, Babs began to realize that she was craving singing again. She began performing and recorded a cover album. It was during her residency at the Playboy Club that she was heard singing by a man struck with her voice. He took her album back to Chicago to Rickey Rainbow who also liked her voice. Knowledge of Rickey’s great musical achievements, his Grammy nomination as a Producer/Songwriter, Babs felt this was too much of an opportunity to turn down. Her meeting with Rickey was to be a life changer for her that turned Babs from a cover singer into a solo recording artist. She later formed her own record label, Savage Entertainment. Her current single “Hot Apple Pie” is a hit on the Chicago “Stepping” scene, where Babs will be touring on the �irst “Steppers Tour” from London to Chicago.

Shatta Wale Shatta Wale is a Ghanaian-born producer and reggae-dancehall musician. His best known song is “Dancehall King”, which led to him winning the “Artiste of the Year” at the 2014 Ghana Music Awards. He later traveled to Jamaica, where he learned about dancehall music. He changed his name to “Bandana” after high school and released the track “Moko Ho (Bandana from Ghana)”, featuring Tinny, in 2004. Shortly afterwards, he took a musical hiatus, re-branding himself “Shatta Wale”, re-emerging with the song, “Dancehall King” in 2013. Wale gained recognition at the 2013 VGMAs, when he composed a song, “Me Need No Awards “, alleging that the organizers of the Ghana Music Awards didn’t award him the “Dancehall Artiste of the Year” title. The media, bloggers and other pundits claim this led to his breakthrough and relevance in the Ghanaian music industry. In 2014 Wale’s song “Wine Ya Waist” featuring Davido garnered attention and his song “You Can’t Touch Me” was widely used for the “Dancers Against Racism” international campaign. That same year, Wale became brand ambassador for Guinness Ghana Breweries and Rush Energy Drink. In 2017 Wale released “Taking Over” and that same year Wale became brand ambassador for Kasapreko Company Ltd, producers of the Storm Energy Drink in Ghana. Wale’s skills are not limited to performing, Wale has acted in “Never Say Never” and “Shattered Lives” movies. He is the leader, chief executive of�icer (CEO) and founder of the Shatta Movement (SM) or (SM4LYF).

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Martin’s International Announces Plans for “TheReggae50” Celebration May 11, 2019 By Mello Williams

This year will mark 50 years since the evolution of Jamaican Reggae music from Ska and Rocksteady into the global music phenomena Reggae music is today. Six months ago, Martin’s International was called upon by several of the reggae foundation entertainers to bring to light the special Golden Reggae milestone achievement of 50 years! As a result, Martin’s International is dedicating its July 4th weekend, 26th African/Caribbean International Festival of Life (IFOL) in Chicago, the IRAWMA and its other events to “TheReggae50 Celebration”. The new Jamaican music genre known as “Reggae” dates back to 1968 and blossomed into international popularity in 1969. Martin’s International is proposing that “TheReggae50 Celebration” be multinational two-year celebration spanning throughout 2018 and 2019. Martin’s International is planning multiple events in Chicago and elsewhere in the USA; as well as returning to Jamaica for the 37th International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA) on May 11, 2019. Martin’s International is currently working aggressively to obtain government, private sector partnerships among entertainment, tourism, product, product brands and organizations in Jamaica; which will enable an exciting and rich calendar of events and celebrations of 50 years of Reggae music! Martin’s International is looking forward to the government of Jamaica taking the lead in honoring Reggae music by officially designating years, 2018 through 2019 as the “TheReggae50Celebration” of Jamaica’s most popular music and culture. Martin’s International has established the domain,, and other social media accounts (@TheReggae50) for Reggae fans to like, post and share their historic Reggae music, memories and experience. Martin’s International would like to encourage and call on all event organizers, producers, promoters, radio DJs and others to dedicate their 2018 – 2019 events/programs to “TheReggae50Celebration”. The 36th IRAWMA winners will be announced tonight in conjunction with the 37th Annual Chicago Music Awards which is also dedicated to TheReggae50 Celebration”. Ephraim Martin (Martin’s International CEO) has also penned “TheReggae50” song to help in the branding of “TheReggae50”. The song includes the names of some of the Reggae foundation entertainers. Martin believes that Jamaica can see its greatest tourism windfall and inflow of tourists within the next two years if “TheReggae50” celebration is properly branded and promotedglobally. For further information, email, visit The photographs included in this article or attached are only a very small sample of some of the entertainers who were there in 1968/69 when the reggae music genre was established. The photos are in no order of priority and doesn’t represent that entertainers are the very first; only that they are among the founding members and/or that they played a major part in the internationalization of reggae music. The official site for TheReggae50 is “” and facebook @thereggae50. Now thru December 2019 information on the hundreds of reggae entertainers who are reggae foundation members and a sample of their music will be posted. For questions and/or further information, email:



Hall of Fame Lt. Stitchie Cleve “Lt. Stitchie” Laing, has been transformed from being one of dancehall’s most acclaimed icons into the Ambassador for Christ. His transformation was the culmination of two years spent in quiet re�lection on his purpose in life, shortly after the death of his beloved mother. It was following on a near-death car crash on the way to perform at Reggae Sumfest in 1997 and the receipt of a Gideon New Testament Bible from a Canadian Missionary the same night. Upon returning to his hotel, Lt. Stitchie read the Bible, prayed, asked for forgiveness of his sins and accepted JESHUA HAMACHIACH as his King and Saviour. Since his rise to fame in the late 1980’s, he has toured extensively as a headliner at various Reggae music concerts and this only intensi�ied when he made the transition to a new life. This living Reggae, Dance Hall legend and Ambassador for Christ has been recognized globally since the release of his very �irst album, “Wear Yu Size”. This trendsetter is credited in the analogs of history of Reggae Music, as the �irst to bring dancehall music to Germany and Europe. He is also inscribed on the pages of the Guinness Book of Records of who`s who in Reggae Music; inducted into the Gospel Hall of Fame in New York and was awarded an “Iconic Award” by The Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JARIA) for his outstanding continuous contribution to the development of Reggae Music world-wide. There is only one “Lt. Stitchie, THE GOVERNOR” with each single and album he releases.

Chaka Demus & Pliers Chaka Demus & Pliers are a Jamaican reggae duo made up of deejay Chaka Demus (born John Taylor) and singer Pliers (born Everton Bonner), known for their hits “Tease Me” and “Murder She Wrote”. Both artists were established solo artists when they teamed up in 1991. Their early hits together included “Gal Wine” for producer Ossie Hibbert. They went on to work with a string of producers, including Ranking Joe, Jah Screw, Prince Jammy, and Ma�ia & Fluxy, with several of their most successful single tracks included on their debut album Gal Wine in 1992. They broke through to international success with “Tease Me”, which was in the UK Singles Chart in 1993. A cover of the Top Notes’ “Twist and Shout” in 1994 led the duo to become the �irst Jamaican act to top the UK Singles Chart in 8 years. Their “Tease Me” album went on to receive gold certi�ication, selling more than 500,000 copies. In 1996 they signed to Island Records and released the album For Every Kinda People. They performed at Sunsplash in 2004 and 2008 then released the album Help Them Lord in 2001. In 2007, they recorded “Need Your Lovin” on Explorer Records. In 2007, Chaka Demus & Pliers performed “Murder She Wrote” alongside Alicia Keys at the American Music Awards. Their latest album So Proud was released in 2008. In 2013 Chaka Demus & Pliers performed at the BET Awards show in the reggae segment alongside Dawn Penn, Beenie Man and Elephant Man.


2525 S Blue Island Ave, Chicago, IL 60608 (773) 523-5213

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Lt. Stitchie, Top One Frisson, Richie Innocent, Shatta Wale, K’Coneil

Slated to Appear at the 36th International Reggae & World Music Awards(IRAWMA) Chronixx and Daddy Yankee Top Nominees Chronixx


s preparations are under way for the return to Jamaica of the 37th Annual International Reggae and World music Awards (IRAWMA) in May of 2019, this year the 36th IRAWMA winners will be revealed at tonight’s 37th Annual Chicago Music Awards (CMA).

This is the �irst time since 1983 that both the CMA and the IRAWMA have been combined. Martin’s International President, Ephraim Martin recently launched “The Reggae 50”, a celebration of �ifty years of reggae music which dates back to the late 60s. Tonight is the �irst phase of Martin’s plan by combining his two Awards ceremonies in Chicago. The second phase will be a grand celebration of 50 years of Reggae music at the 37th IRAWMA in Jamaica in 2019. The aim is to have an international television broadcast of the IRAWMA out of Jamaica, the home of reggae, and to grant TV broadcast rights to countries throughout the globe.

The combined awards ceremony will sparkle with performances by top Reggae & World Music performers including: Lt. Stitchie, Top One Frisson, Richie Innocent, Shatta Wale, K’Coneil, among others. Who will take home the coveted IRAWMA trophy? Some 145 reggae and world music industry individuals, groups and others received nods in more than 29 categories. At the top of the list is Chronixx and Daddy Yankee with four nods each. Followed by Alkaline, Capleton, Charley Black, Inner Circle, Pitbull, Popcaan and Sean Paul who each received three nods. Aidonia, Busy Signal, Calypso Rose, Damian Marley, Dexter Daps, Machel Montano, Marcia Grif�iths, Rebulation, Shenseea, Sizzla, Sly & Robbie, Spice and Stephen Marley all received two nominations. Duo Chakademus & Pliers as well as Lt. Stitchie will each be inducted into the Lifetime/Hall of Fame. This year’s IRAWMA Award will also recognize & honor Babs Savage and Shatta Wale for their contributions to the music industry with the “Martin’s International Award of Honor”.

“This is a night to celebrate” says Ephraim Martin, CEO of Martin’s International Culture, producer of the event. “Everyone comes in their most fashionable apparel, and are in high spirits as they anticipate winning and celebrating their accomplishment. Fans also enjoy the opportunity to meet the artists, take photos and cheer for their favorite artists and performers.” Martin added.

Established in Chicago in 1989, Martin’s International is a not for pro�it arts organization founded by Ephraim M. Martin. Entrepreneur, publisher and TV personality, Martin is the founder and chairman of four prestigious annual events: The Chicago Music Awards (CMA); The International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA), The International Festival of Life (IFOL) and The Jerk, Seafood, Vegan Fest (JSV). The mission of the International Reggae & World Music Awards (IRAWMA), organized in 1982 is to acknowledge and honor the accomplishments and contributions of reggae and world music artists, including: songwriters, performers, promoters and musicians. The IRAWMA has been staged in: Atlanta, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, New Orleans, New York as well as both Montego Bay and Ocho Rios Jamaica. The impetus behind the IRAWMA is its commitment to promoting greater participation and acceptance of Reggae, Caribbean and World Music, internationally.

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